Donna Beth Stoner
June 5, 1936 ~ February 7, 2013
February 18, 2013
Donna Beth Stoner, 76, passed away on February
7, 2013, at her home in Bonners Ferry. Services
were held at Mountain View Mennonite Church,
Bonners Ferry, on Monday, February 11, with
Ministers Willis Dyck, Shane Ensz, Ben Nystrom
and Glenn Ensz officiating.
Interment was in the adjoining cemetery.
Donna Beth Giesbrecht Stoner was born June 5,
1936, at Turlock, California, to Ben and
Marianne Regehr Giesbrecht. Though never a
hearty child, she enjoyed her childhood in the
She attended Arundel School, Atwater School, and
Livingston High School before moving with her
parents to Glenn, California, where she finished
her basic education at Princeton in 1955. After
answering the call to give her heart to the Lord
Jesus, she was baptized by Minister Edward Jantz
at Winton, California, in February of 1950.
Though at times tested and tried, she found
grace to remain faithful to this calling all her
In 1955 Donna Beth moved to Santa Monica to live
with Chet and Nettie Mae, her older sister. Here
she had a temporary job with the General
Telephone Company in the Wire Chief's office.
They were in the process of altering each
telephone so that it would be able to dial long
distance. Later she and cousin Agnes Toews
Becker were asked to help at Greasewood
Mennonite Mission Boarding School in the laundry
and kitchen. Approximately 30 girls and 15 boys
(American Indians) boarded there, most going
home for weekends. It was an interesting, busy,
full, exciting year, but at 19 with much to
learn, she determined never to go back if her
job included kitchen duty!
Witnessing the joys and sorrows of the
missionary's life was a never to be forgotten
The years 1957 - 1961 found her at Chico State
College, majoring in nursing along with Agnes.
This included a 13 month stay in Student Nurses
Residence in San Francisco at the County
Hospital. She made life long friends with whom
she was still in touch last Christmas.
Next she returned to the Southwest as an RN to
work in the PHS Indian Hospital in Gallup, New
Mexico. Because it was understaffed, she was
assigned to work two floors. There were 25 very
sick patients per floor, with few medical
conveniences compared to more recent days.
Later years included working at Grace Nursing
Home at Winton, California, as Director of
Nurses and then at Glenn General Hospital as
night supervisor in Willows, California.
Her life was quiet, but warmed by family and
friends and travel! Her love of travel and
camping, and spending time at the ocean began in
childhood and continued throughout her life.
On March 9, 1973, she was married to Jack R.
Stoner by Minister Donald Bates at Glenn,
California. They enjoyed life together for 17
years until Jack passed away in January of 1990.
They traveled a lot during these years,
including a trip to New Zealand by freighter,
where they almost missed their first anniversary
by crossing the International Date Line on the
Together they did a lot of gardening and enjoyed
sharing their bounty with others.
Donna loved Jack's three daughters and also
entertained the grandchildren, who often came to
stay with them in Idaho when they were young.
Volunteering at the Well Child Clinic and also
the Senior Center was something she liked to do.
Her cheerful quiet ways drew people to her, for
she was a good listener and will be missed by
She didn't mind being alone and took pleasure in
each new day. She was contented and enjoyed the
little things that came her way, not asking for
more. She remained quiet and unafraid in all the
hurdles she faced with poor health, and lived
her faith, until death claimed her on February
7, 2013, after a long battle with cancer.
Although weary in mind and body, she was saying
thank you prayers for the ones who told her they
were praying for her.
Donna Beth is survived by niece Celia Unruh; her
step-daughters Sidney Carrillo and Ethel and Ray
Rausch, Yorba Linda, California; five
grandchildren, six great grandchildren; sister
Nancy Fern and Victor Amoth, Bonners Ferry,
brother Jerry Giesbrecht, Glenn, California,
brother-in-law Chester Unruh, Nampa, Idaho,
sister-in-law Sharon Giesbrecht, Glenn,
California; and many nieces and nephews and
cousins, including her cousin Agnes Becker.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack
Stoner, parents Ben and Marianne Regehr
Giesbrecht, sister Nettie Mae, brother Rodney,
step-daughter Jacquelyn Stoner, and sister-
in-law Carolyn Giesbrecht.
Family and friends are invited to sign Donna’s
Arrangements are entrusted to the care of
Bonners Ferry Funeral Home.